The Philadelphia Region of the
June 9th through June 13th, 2021
Excerpt from Lincoln Design Heritage, Zephyr to LS, 1936 – 2000 by Jim & Cheryl Farrell
Used by permission.
The L2K started out as a Mercury sportscar proposal intended for production. In late 1992, Jack Telnack passed on a request to Richard Hutting at Concept Center California to the effect that Ford wanted Concept Center to prepare proposals for a 2-passenger Mercury sports car — and they were given two weeks to submit those proposals to Dearborn. Four designers at Concept Center spent two weeks preparing proposals which were sent to Dearborn. Nothing more was heard and everyone at Concept Center thought the project had been canceled. In February 1993, word came down that the project was alive and a proposal submitted by designer Bruce Berkey had been selected. The sketch Berkey had submitted to Dearborn was never returned, but a photo of it appeared in the Design Center’s newsletter called Highlights.
Part way through the clay modeling process, Concept Center designers were told the sports car was no longer going to be Mercury but had to become a Lincoln. When the clay model was finished, Concept Center designers and clay modelers went to used car lots in the San Fernando Valley where they bought a ‘93 Mazda Miata and drove it back to Concept Center. There the Miata body and running gear were removed, the wheelbase was lengthened by reversing the rear suspension and the L2K body was installed. A prototype SHO engine was installed in a northsouth direction and bolted to a C-6 transmission. An engineer was sent from Dearborn to help wire the engine. The interior, although designed by Berkey, was built by Littlejohn, a local job shop.
During the build process, the grille was changed to conform with Ehab Faoud’s design which was meant for use on all Lincolns. The wheelcovers as designed by Berkey represented a stylized “M,” for Mercury, but they were later changed.
After the L2K was finished, the Concept Center crew took the L2K to the Saugus race track where Hutting, Berkey and others drove it for about 100 laps around the track, sometimes at speed.
The L2K was then shown at the LA Auto Show where it got better reviews than the Mercedes SLK it was designed and built to compete against. It was then trucked back to Dearborn where it made an appearance at the Detroit Auto Show. Upper management at Ford decided there would be no Lincoln sports car. After that, the L2K was shown at Pebble Beach and was then sent back to Concept Center where the body was removed and destroyed; the rest was recycled.
The L2K: Exciting Performance in a Two-Seat Luxury Coupe from Lincoln
by Carolyn Burke, Lincoln-Mercury Public Affairs
Originally published in the First Quarter 1995 issue of Continental Comments (Issue # 203.
The rear-wheel drive L2K, designed at Ford Motor Company’s California studios, is powered by a 3.4-liter, 32-valve V-8 engine delivering approximately 250 horsepower through a four-speed automatic transmission. The experimental engine may appear in future Ford products and features a state-of-the-art EEC-V electronic management system. Weighing approximately 2,900 pounds, the L2K delivers power coupled with economy.
Sporty, elegant styling characterizes the L2K, from its vertical Lincolnesque grille to its high-intensity projector headlamps. A unique, high mount stop lamp in the spoiler behind the passenger area combines styling with safety.
The spoiler achieves a significant reduction in wind noise for the driver and passenger riding with the top down. The underbody is fitted with full-length aerodynamic panels for improved low-drag characteristics.
The L2K’s wide stance results in an appealing appearance while providing stability and responsive handling. Front and rear integrated bumpers meet current federal safety standards. Seventeen-inch tires frame the sculptured chrome wheels.
A custom, silvery Light Sapphire paint accentuates the car’s beauty and is complemented by a Medium Sapphire leather interior.
The interior blends an ultra-high comfort level into a complete wraparound design. Carefully styled seating follows the practice of ergonomics by fitting the seat to the person. In acknowledging the role of driver and passenger, the L2K disproves the notion that a sports car is required to provide cramped, uncomfortable seating.
An inviting, performance-oriented cockpit welcomes the driver of the L2K. Analog gauges grace the dashboard, a reminder of the rich history of two-seater sport vehicles in which needles and numbers measure performance. The gauges also serve as a cue to occupants to forget the digitized symbols of office life.
Creature comforts abound in the L2K – from the plush seats to a sound system that includes a mini-disc changer in the rear console between the seats that is removable for security purposes. There are no exterior door handles. the designers left them out to preserve the flowing lines of the car’s sides. The doors open with the push button of a key fob.
Excellent trunk space – which at 11.5 cubic feet is cavernous for a car this size – provides storage of luggage and recreation gear, making the L2K the consummate open-road touring vehicle. Dual airbags provide an extra margin of safety.
The L2K’s dimensions include a 93-inch wheelbase. Overall length is 158.4 inches; width is 71 inches. The Goodyear P245/45 x 17 tires were specifically designed for the L2K and feature an asymmetrical tread designed for high-performance handling, low noise and a luxury ride.